I’ve been talking for, well, as long as I can remember. My mom told me that my first words were “apple juice,” which is not common for a baby (at least from what I’ve heard). We were at a store and I saw something I wanted–apple juice–so I spoke on it.
In middle school and through college, I participated in an activity called forensics (a.k.a. speech and debate). We traveled across the country–sometimes even around the world–to compete against other students. I was lucky in that I was able to choose a number of the topics I spoke on, many of which involved being a Black woman in America. That was my experience–and I wanted to educate others about that experience–so I spoke on it.
Sometimes people try to silence you because what you’re saying makes them uncomfortable. To them I say, “Deal with it.” There are plenty of things about this life that make me uncomfortable. In fact, society actively works to make me feel uncomfortable with who I am and what I look like. When I was younger, I kept quiet about a lot of things that made me uncomfortable. Now that I’m a grown woman I know that what I have to say is valuable and deserves to be heard. I will not quiet my voice just because the TRUTH I speak makes you squirm.
My challenge to you is: Speak on it. When you see injustice, speak on it. When you feel strongly about a topic, speak on it. To remain silent is to remain indifferent, and that won’t make the world better.